Garth Brooks concerts canceled due to Tampa Bay Lightning hosting Game 2 of …

1 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Blackhawks vs. Lightning: How much do you love this Stanley Cup Final matchup?.

The Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning is about as perfect a matchup as you could ask for in the Stanley Cup Final this postseason. Thanks in large part to coach Joel Quenneville putting Patrick Kane on the top line along with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, the Hawks exploded for 15 goals over the last four games of the Western Conference finals against the Ducks. The Murray Harbour native was seeking a new team after becoming a salary-cap casualty when the New York Rangers bought out the veteran centre’s contract. However, the logistics of such a quick turnaround proved to be untenable for Brooks’ team. “The issue of getting the network crews and their gear out of the building and getting our crews and gear into the building late Saturday/early Sunday for two shows on Sunday raises serious safety concerns,” Brooks said in the statement. “It is because of those safety concerns that the choice is being made to refund all shows and reschedule depending on finding a date that works for both the arena and the tour.” Brooks, who also had a Friday show scheduled at Amalie Arena, congratulated both teams on reaching the finals and thanked executives for the Lightning and the arena for their efforts to find a workable solution. “We personally know (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman and are very familiar with the League and its players, coaches, and staff,” Brooks said. “They are all stand-up people.

We are convinced everything that could have been done was done to try to remedy the situation.” The Tampa concerts are the second group of shows Brooks has cancelled since announcing his return to the concert stage last year. While Steven Stamkos (43 regular-season goals) is the most dangerous, the “Triplets Line” of Tyler Johnson (league-leading 12 goals, along with nine assists in the playoffs), Nikita Kucherov (nine, 10) and Ondrej Palat (seven, eight) has done the most damage.

It’s a tough place to get to,” he said. “The Stanley Cup champions didn’t even make the playoffs this year, so you take nothing for granted nowadays.” “It’s going to be a pretty special feeling, going back to where I started and where I grew up as a player and as a person,” said the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Lightning: After falling behind three times in the first round against the Detroit Red Wings, the Lightning won Game 6 at Joe Louis Arena and then Game 7 back on home ice. Which is to say “the Chicago Blackhawks and nearly everyone else.” The first essential question about the Lightning: Have they learned how to do what the Blackhawks do? The depth is being tested with Kyle Cumiskey and David Rundblad seeing quality minutes because of a season-ending injury to Michal Rozsival and ineffective play from Kimmo Timonen. It was a game-plan that assumed offensive success from their forwards, while focusing on “remembering their net” in the defensive zone to support Ben Bishop and owning the neutral zone with their speed.

Despite units that can roll out offensive talents the likes of Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Saad and Keith, the Hawks’ power play has been inconsistent all season. They can’t be so top heavy against the Blackhawks, especially when Chicago generates offense throughout its lineup (13 players with at least five points; the Lightning have nine, despite playing three more games). Corey Crawford’s shaky start to the postseason is long forgotten as the veteran has been steady — and often spectacular — while helping the Hawks dispatch the Predators, Wild and Ducks en route the finals. Crawford has been particularly brilliant in overtime, displaying the poise of a goalie who has been through the battles and helped his team win a Stanley Cup in 2013.

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